Sony Cyber-shot DSC T5 digital camera review

At 15.3mm thin, ultra-compacts don’t come much thinner than the Sony Cyber-shot DSC T5 a supremely pocketable 5.1 megapixel digital camera that will really turn heads towards the lens.

The T5 has slimline swooping curves to the body edges and the sliding on/off lens cover device on the front that also provides extra stiffness for its diminutive frame. The cute styling houses a large 2.5-inch transflective screen that reduces reflections and boosts brightness by reflecting light that hits back out again. It’s crisp and clear to use.

There’s no optical viewfinder but thankfully, the power management has been improved over the Sony T7, which gobbled battery power at an alarming rate. Here you’ll get around 240 shots per charge. Not bad given it’s the same rechargeable Li-ion cell as that in the T7.

The camera’s 38-114mm 3x zoom lens is very sharp Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar glass but with an only adequate F3.5-F4.4 maximum aperture range.

Focusing and metering work a treat, the former using a wide area AF set-up with very clear markings and the latter which seems to get the balance about right, even in quite contrasty scenes. Noise suppression is well handled in brighter conditions but in low light, there’s marked shadow noise - even at ISO 100 - which gets worse as the ISO goes up. The sensitivity ranges from ISO 64 to a modest ISO 400 but to be fair to the little T5, the noise is no different to many such models it competes with on the market.

Despite the small size, handling the T5 is actually not bad with only a minor demerit on the shutter release, it seems very long and can get in the way when using back plate controls. And the zoom control is so small it is very fiddly. Otherwise, the camera is easy to use.

Menus are of the animated and fun variety with icons that swoosh about on the screen as do the menus. The latter are simple to understand and range across the bottom of the screen that sadly necessitates some frustrating scrolling to change settings as there’s very little in the way of manual controls. You do get ten scene modes (including the usual stuff such as portrait, landscape and night scene modes) and exposure compensation to +/-2EV in 1/3rd stop steps.

Verdict

The 5.1-megapixel resolution T5 provides enough detail for large prints, even up to A3, meaning if all you need is a small, eminently pocketable digital camera with basic controls but oodles of ‘wow!' factor as standard, then this a digital camera that is sure to hit your sweet spot.